Whether Wüst or Kuchaty: Expert raises the alarm – "The biggest problem"

Climate, War and Corona. The global crises have Hendrik’s election campaign libertineThomas Kuchaty and Co. significantly influenced.

This brought up an important issue NRW election 2022 into the background. It is one of the biggest construction sites that the new government around Hendrik libertine or Thomas Kuchaty has to tackle in NRW.

Whether Wüst or Kuchaty: Expert complains – “Nobody wants to do it”

Dilapidated schools, a shortage of teachers and a backlog in digitization. For voters, the issue of education and school is the second-biggest problem in NRW. This is the result of a survey by the “ZDF-Politbarometer” shortly before the state elections.

In a country comparison, NRW lags behind. In the Education Monitor 2021, the most populous federal state with 12th place again only achieved a place in the lower midfield.

According to Stephan Bayer, the Ministry of Education should therefore enjoy a much higher status in state politics. Bayer is the founder of the digital learning platform “Sofatutor”. As a graduate sociologist and political scientist, he knows: “No one in the parties wants to do that because you know: ‘I can only lose there’.”

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This is “Sofatutor”:

  • Digital learning platform with over 11,000 videos
  • The founder of the company of the same name is Stephan Bayer
  • 250 employees work for “Sofatutor”.
  • According to their own, every fourth German teacher has a “Sofatutor” account
  • Weekly users: 1.5 million (as of May 2022)


Construction site education: Appeal to Wüst and Kuchaty

During the pandemic in particular, the acting Minister for Schools and Education, Yvonne Gebauer (FDP), had to take a beating for her change of course. The chairman of the NRW-FDP, Joachim Stamp, defended his party colleague and made an important demand (more on this here).

Stephan Bayer is now calling on the new prime minister to “make education a top priority again”. The appeal of the education expert before the 2022 NRW election: “Dear parties, whoever it is: send your best politicians to the education department.”

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Corona exacerbates educational problems

The pandemic has relentlessly exposed the problems of the educational landscape. However, with huge differences depending on the household. “Children sometimes learned better than in the normal school setting because they didn’t have to share the same thoughts with 30 other children in the same second,” explains Bayer.

“But what about the children who had to go to the toilet to study in a two-room apartment with siblings because it was quiet there? Who wouldn’t turn on their video camera because they were embarrassed? And who might have had to share a device with several people.”


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According to Bayer, such children from poor and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds should be equipped with their own devices. Apps like “Sofatutor” could support those students with tutors when there is no one to help with schoolwork.

“It can be a crazy driver to bring this gap between high-performing and under-performing students back together,” says the education expert.

More money for certain teachers – Wüst and Kuchaty demanded

As the operator of the learning platform, Stephan Bayer naturally has a great interest in advertising his product.

But he also knows that one problem overshadows everything: “We have a severe shortage of teachers, especially in hotspot schools.”

As an incentive for the teaching profession, as a first step he calls for equal salaries for all teachers. Those who work in troubled schools and want to help students from educationally disadvantaged families also deserve a financial bonus.

This is how Kuchaty and Wüst can protect society from populism

“But it is not enough to turn the salary screw. We need to invest in marketing the teaching profession. That the right school leavers decide on the teaching profession – with the right motives to do the whole thing.”

Those who fight against the unequal educational opportunities of children can also cushion the resentment in parts of the population: “A gap between ‘smart and not so smart’ and ‘poor and rich’ is the biggest problem that drives a society into populism,” attests Bayer.

Corona as a driver of populism

In order to free the teachers for the lessons, more non-teaching staff are needed in schools.

Bayer knows about social workers and school psychologists, who are also missing on the labor market, but he points to the USA as a suggestion: “There, the youth welfare office is linked directly to the school, because the problem cases are tangible here.”

If more scope is then created for further training of teachers – for example by inviting non-school actors – NRW could get its educational problems under control in the medium term.

In the opinion of the “Sofatutor” founder, this requires extracurricular actors who organize project days with pupils in order to enable teachers to carry out further training, for example in the field of digital education.

Because, as Stephan Bayer asks in view of the tight timetable due to the shortage of skilled workers: “Which teacher should still deal with digital education in the evening or during the holidays?”


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